Studies have shown that the happiness derived from receiving a physical gift is short-lived, but the satisfaction from real-life experiences increases over time. Experience-based gifts also create memories and often family bonding time. So this holiday season, consider forgoing those knick-knack gifts that will only gather dust on the shelf, sports equipment that will end up shoved to the back of the closet, or itchy sweaters that will never be worn. Shop instead for gifts of experiences.
News of supply chain shortages abounds. Container ships are unable to get into U.S. ports to unload goods, and there is a shortage of long-haul truck drivers to transport those goods across the country. Indeed, shelves seem a little barer this year than in past years.
So giving gifts of local experiences may be a better route this holiday season.
On the following pages, we highlight local, rural Wisconsin businesses that can offer the gift of experience. These businesses, located on electric co-op lines, offer gift ideas sure to please those on your shopping list. Last December, we used these pages to promote Shop Co-op options for locally made goods. This year, for Shop Co-op II, we offer the same idea with a slight twist.
If you don’t have a computer or reliable internet connection to look through these options, we suggest you visit your local library, which likely has computers, internet connection, and staff available to help patrons. So enjoy these memorable experience gifts with friends and family this holiday season.
Wisconsin State Park Passes
Wisconsin has state parks scattered across the state—many on co-op lines and promoted in this magazine over the years. Give the gift of recreation and the great outdoors and purchase an annual Wisconsin State Park pass. This is truly the gift that keeps on giving. Beautiful in all four seasons, Wisconsin State Park properties cover nearly 156,000 acres of land.
A vehicle admission sticker is required on all motor vehicles stopping in state parks, forests, and recreation areas. Daily passes for Wisconsin vehicles to use the parks vary from $8-13 per day, depending on which park you visit. Annual admission stickers allow users to enjoy as many parks as they wish throughout the year. A sticker for a vehicle with Wisconsin plates is $28, and for state residents age 65 and older, the annual pass is $13. A sticker for a second vehicle registered to the same household is $15.50.
State Park admission stickers can be purchased online at dnr.wisconsin.gov or at Wisconsin State Park System properties either in person at a property drive-up window during office hours; at a self-registration station, available at every state park, forest, recreation area and trail (cash or check accepted); at an electronic sales kiosk, available at many properties (credit cards accepted); or by phone, by calling 1-888-936-7463.
Summer Fun on the Water
Y’Allbee Tubin: Holiday gifts don’t need to be enjoyed during the holidays. Plan ahead for summer fun on the water. Y’Allbee Tubin is a family-owned company that rents kayaks, canoes, and tubes for a summer float down the Grant River. Located in Cassville on Scenic Rivers Energy Cooperative lines, this experience gift is fun for the entire family.
Trips down the river typically last 2.5 hours, but longer kayak and canoe trips can be arranged. Y’Allbe Tubin promises beautiful scenery and wildlife, beaches, and even hosts moonlight glow floats.
Y’Allbe Tubin generally opens for the season in May and remains open as long as weather permits. Pricing varies by the day and whether you rent a kayak, canoe, or tube.
Y’Allbe Tubin is located at 9000 Camel Ridge Road in Cassville. More information is available at www.yallbeetubin.com. Gift cards can be purchased by calling or texting 608-732-0618.
Cruisin’ Turtle Rental: Another option to get out on the water with the entire extended family this summer is to rent the Cruisin’ Turtle, a charter boat cruise at the Dirty Turtle in New Lisbon, members of Oakdale Electric Cooperative. Rental of the Cruisin’ Turtle includes a captain to guide the trip for $175 per hour and can accommodate up to 50 people.
The Dirty Turtle is a bar, grill, and marina located on Castle Rock Lake at W5250 N. Osprey Drive in New Lisbon. More information is available at dirtyturtle.com or by calling 608-562-5931.
Hit the Slopes
Mt. Ashwabay: Don’t let Wisconsin’s winter weather keep you from getting outside. Give the gift of snowy recreation with a trip to Mt. Ashwabay on Bayfield Electric Cooperative lines in Bayfield. Mt. Ashwabay makes the best of the season with alpine skiing and snowboarding, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and hiking, skijoring, and fat-tire biking.
Mt. Ashwabay is a non-profit ski hill and recreation area overlooking Lake Superior. Give the gift of a lift ticket day pass, or season pass, or equipment rentals.
The ski area also offers both individual and group lessons, youth nights, and kids’ programs, including holiday mini-camps to learn to ski and snowboard, and ski racing and snowboard racing camps.
If snowy recreation isn’t your idea of a great gift, Mt. Ashwabay also offers summer activities including hiking and mountain biking trails, Big Top Chautauqua concerts and performances, and a bar and grill.
Mt. Ashwabay is located at 32525 Ski Hill Road in Bayfield. More information is available at www.mtashwabay.org or by calling 715-779-3227.
Mt. La Crosse Ski Area: Another option to experience the gift of snow is Mt. La Crosse Ski Area, located on Vernon Electric Cooperative lines. In operation since 1959, Mt. La Crosse has been providing generations of families with quality time on the snow.
Mt. La Crosse has a variety of ski runs for all abilities. Skiers can start out nice and easy on Mileaway and progress up the steepest ski run in the state—Damnation.
The property has 18 slopes and trails, three ski lifts, and one rope tow. Adventurous skiers can also try the terrain park or night skiing on lit runs.
Mt. La Crosse also has rentals and a complete ski shop, and it offers repairs and lessons. After a fun day on the slopes, relax at the picturesque chalet with food service and an award-winning bar.
Mt. La Crosse is located at Old Town Hall Road in La Crosse. More information is available at mtlacrosse.com or by calling 608-788-0044.
Hit the Links
The Patriot Golf Club: Located on Oconto Electric Cooperative lines in Abrams, Patriot Golf offers another opportunity to spend time in the great outdoors and make memories with family and friends.
The Patriot is located 25 minutes north of Lambeau Field and was originally built in 1975. Formerly known as Sandalwood Country Club, the 18-hole course is kid-friendly. Children 12 and under golf free with a paid adult.
This veteran-owned property was purchased by the current owner in 2017. It has seen many improvements to the course and clubhouse in recent years, but remains a wooded, mature course.
The course offers discounts for seniors, youth, and military.
Patriot Golf is located at 2954 Sandalwood Road in Abrams. More information is available at
thepatriotgolfclubllc.com or by calling 920-826-7770.
Parkway Golf Course: Also located on Oconto Electric Cooperative lines is Parkway Golf Course.
Parkway Golf is located at 9004 Mulligan Way in Pound. More information is available on their Facebook page, www.facebook.com/ParkwayGolfCourse, or by calling 920-897-3950.